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10 November 2021, 15:25 | Updated: 19 September 2023, 14:24
U2 frontman Bono has made wearing glasses come rain or shine his trademark for many a year now.
The Irish rock legend - whose real name is Paul David Hewson - has donned various forms of sunglasses over the years.
Earlier in the band's career, he was rarely bespectacled during his energetic live performances, but since the 90s he began to wear sunglasses big and small. Though, it's not just fashion over function.
Later settling the round tinted glasses we regularly see him in nowadays, there is a valid reason behind it.
Bono has a condition called glaucoma, which he's lived with for decades.
In 2014 he appeared with his U2 bandmates on BBC One's Graham Norton Show, and opened up about the condition he'd been battling for some time after the host joked about him never removing his sunglasses:
“This is a good place to explain to people [...] that I’ve had glaucoma for the last 20 years."
The 'With Or Without You' singer then joked himself adding: “You’re not going to get this out of your head now and you will be saying, ‘Ah, poor old blind Bono.’"
Watch the segment below, courtesy of BBC America:
Why U2's Bono Wears Sunglasses - The Graham Norton Show on BBCAmerica
Glaucoma is one of a number of conditions that causes photophobia or light sensitivity in people's eyesight.
Tinted, wrap-around glasses that block out as much light as possible are known to alleviate this sensitivity.
Talking to Rolling Stone magazine, Bono said: "[I have] very sensitive eyes to light. If somebody takes my photograph, I will see the flash for the rest of the day. My right eye swells up."
"I've a blockage there, so that my eyes go red a lot. So it's part vanity, it's part privacy and part sensitivity."
The NHS website says: "Glaucoma is a common eye condition where the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain, becomes damaged."
"It's usually caused by fluid building up in the front part of the eye, which increases pressure inside the eye. Glaucoma can lead to loss of vision if it isn't diagnosed and treated early."
"It can affect people of all ages but is most common in adults in their 70s and 80s."
Glaucoma doesn't usually have symptoms to begin with but it may affect your peripheral vision and include:
- Blurred vision
- Seeing rainbow-coloured circles around bright lights
If glaucoma develops suddenly it can cause:
- Intense eye pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blurred vision and seeing rings around lights
- Tenderness around the eyes
- Light sensitivity
Glaucoma is treatable, but if untreated then it can lead patients to go blind in some cases. Treatments for glaucoma include:
- Alleviating light sensitivity (with tinted glasses)
- Eye drops to reduce the pressure in your eyes
- Laser treatment (to open up blocked drainage tubes and reduce fluid in the eyes)
- Surgery to improve fluid drainage
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